1) “Gossip Girl,” 8-9:30 p.m., CW. “Gossip” ran for six seasons on CW, stirring pop-culture buzz. Its sequel is just for HBO Max – except this opener, airing a day after its Max debut. We’re at the same upscale school (shown here), with a secret gossiper (again voiced by Kristen Bell) using social media. This time, however, we know from the start who it is. We meet deeply likable half-sisters, then see them behave in contrived ways. When was the last time you accidentally undressed in a street-view window?
2) More streaming. “Gossip Girl,” with new Max episodes on the next nine Thursdays, is part of a busy streaming week. New episodes have included “Loki” (Wednesday on Disney+) and “The Good Fight” and “Why Women Kill” (Thursday on Paramount Plus). Today, Netflix has a new season of the “Virgin River” romance/mystery series, plus a “Fear Street” sequel. Also today, Hulu has “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” a comedy from the “Bridesmaids” duo, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo.
3) “Secret Celebrity Renovation” debut, 8 p.m., CBS. Any good TV idea, it seems, is worth copying. HGTV already has a first-rate show (“Celebrity IOU,” 9 p.m. Mondays) in which celebrities renovate homes of people special to them. Here’s CBS’ version: Wayne Brady talks fondly of the grandmother and aunt who raised him; now, aided by designer Sabrina Soto and contractor Jason Cameron, he surprises Aunt Lilly.
4) “Blue Bloods,” 10 p.m., CBS. Most of the Friday cop line-up has been displaced by reality shows – “Secret Celebrity Renovation” at 8 p.m., “Love Island” at 9. “Blue Bloods,” however, remains; over the next two weeks, it reruns its season-finale. We finally learn what happened to Frank’s grandson Joe, who disappeared early in the season; he’s undercover, inside a dangerous gun-running group.
5) “Great Performances,” 9-10:30 p.m., PBS. Gloria Estefan has skillfully blended the music of Cuba and the U.S. Now she wanted to get closer to the roots of both sounds. Half of slaves taken from Africa, she says, went to Brazil; it spawned vibrant rhythms. This documentary goes there, with inconsistent results. There are spurts of vibrant music … and moving stories of Estefan’s parents … and glowing bits of culture. Those are surrounded, however, by slow stretches that may tax your patience.